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 Post subject: Drilling turquoise.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 3:29 pm 
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I am trying to work with turquoise. Knowing how soft it is any suggestions on how to drill small pieces without them crumbling. So far I had no success. What am I doing wrong. This is my first time working with turquoise. Thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Drilling turquoise.
PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2015 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 01, 2006 5:00 pm
Posts: 391
Location: Dolan Springs, Arizona
I am drilling turquoise nearly every day. I use diamond drills that have the spiral shaft, not the solid core. I use a water troff so that my stone is underwater during drilling and I use a wood back support so that I don't have blowouts on the back side. Finally if I have any doubts about the material I back the stone with a layer of JB Weld.

What kind of turquoise are you drilling and how thick is the material?
Crumbly turquoise could be just crummy turquoise ( ie chalk).


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 Post subject: Re: Drilling turquoise.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 6:03 am 
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TBH any diamond drill will do ,the spirals are more for show small cos that is what people think drills should look like ( metal working). Using drills under water is good but limited due to cavitation effect and plating failing .Diamond sintered core drill will be better with water chuck, more expensive but saves money in the long run.


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 Post subject: Re: Drilling turquoise.
PostPosted: Fri Dec 11, 2015 5:32 pm 
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Location: Washington State
Since drilling stones is more of a grinding process than anything I've always just used ball shaped diamond bits, marked both sides and ground from both sides to the center with smaller than needed bits. Once I'm through, I clean, straighten and enlarge the hole with a diamond coated shaft like bit. Grinding from both sides just about eliminates the problem of breakout. This only works with thinner materials, like maybe 5mm maximum.

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Michael E.


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 Post subject: Re: Drilling turquoise.
PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2015 12:33 pm 
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Like drilling holes in anything else you need the turquoise to be rigidly held and the drill to approach from one angle and stay on course through the stone......any material that moves around when drilling will make a sloppy hole or get thrown and have a chance of being damaged or doing damage. The type of drill won't matter


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